It has been stated elsewhere (link to an example) that work emails used in the course of regular business are admissible as evidence in UK and EU courts.
I have a large number of emails that are the only remaining evidence for important work that I have delivered.
In my case the workplace is a university, and I will soon lose access to the email trail that has been built up over many years. The only evidence I have for delivery of this work is in the form of emails which show acknowledgements by all parties, and importantly attached documents such as reports.
None of these emails were sent using digital signatures. At the moment, I am able to prove their authenticity as they are stored on the university server, which can be confirmed by IT staff on request, but when I lose access to the server this will no longer be possible.
I understand that a solution that absolutely guarantees the authenticity of these emails may be impossible, but saving them as text files results in virtually no technical barrier to editing and therefore little authenticity. There must be a middle ground - remember that traditional hard-copy documents can be relatively easily forged and yet are regularly used as valid evidence in court. I am looking for the most authentic or convincing solution possible, something that could be viewed as at least equivalent to producing hard copies.
The questions I have are: -
Is there a way to save a local copy of some or all of my email traffic, preferably retaining the headers, and could this be done in some authenticated or industry-standard archive format?
Is there a way to demonstrate that forwarded or saved emails have not been tampered with if my workplace email account has been permanently deleted and the recipients have deleted their copies?
Is there a way to migrate all of my emails onto a different service/server such as gmail or hotmail? - if so, could it be shown that emails have not been tampered with? Could this be done using some form of digital signature?
How would any of these solutions apply to attached files? - how do you know an attached file in a forwarded email is identical to the original?